HERE’S A LOOK AT THE LATEST AND GREATEST TO HIT THE MART.
Byline: Subira Shaw
REP ET TROIS
A new line of dressy T-shirts from France, Stripe embodies the same timeless, chic sensibility that guides its top-driven sister collection, Rayure Paris. Designed and manufactured out of Paris, Stripe is imported to the U.S. under Houston, Tex.-based RD Enterprises. The concept emerged when a group of T-shirts shown with Rayure was well received, said Bryan Downey, one of the firm’s owners.
“Stripe targets the same customer as Rayure, but with a more casual twist,” Downey said. The polyamide, nylon and Lycra spandex blend shirts, available in either black or white, come in classic shapes and with double scoop- and V-necklines. Textured finishes, including raised stripes and quilted knits, add dimension to the tops. Wholesale prices range from $45 to $55.
MIKE & MILLIE
Louise Anne Marler combined her commercial printing background with a love of good composition to come up with L.A. Marler, a printed T-shirt line featuring “modern folk art.”
Los Angeles-based Marler uses colorful 100 percent combed cotton tops in tank, spaghetti strap, long-sleeved and short-sleeved silhouettes as canvases to heat-transfer her own photographs. Recent themes in the year-round collection include “Old American Autos,” “Caribbean Colores,” with scenes from a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, and “Chinese Blessings,” which incorporated florals and Chinese paper prints. Some shirts are offered with glitter embellishments. Wholesale prices range from $13.95 to $15.95.
Since its debut last July, L.A. Marler has amassed 50 accounts with boutiques and resort stores. Wholesale volume is projected at $50,000 this year, Marler said.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Topsy Turvy, created by twentysomething Monique Moizet, is known for its whimsical use of materials, including fake fur and Astroturf.
The Los Angeles-based firm, which targets shoppers between the ages of 15 and 35, recently upgraded its design approach.
“About six months ago, we started kicking up the technology and using a new printing process,” said vice president of sales Marc De Longeville. “We’ve also widened our scope of resources to achieve a more unique look.”
The new design direction is evident in the line’s latest offerings. Handbags, which wholesale between $15 and $45, include sequin-trimmed cloth hobo styles and totes with designs inspired by abstract art and ads from the Fifties. Belts, which wholesale between $20 and $50, feature suede and leather straps with fringed ends. And a group of top-stitched leather styles with brass buckles bows this season. Topsy Turvy’s T-shirts wholesale between $18 and $21 and are emblazoned with bold words, including “sexy” and “vixen,” and feature sequin-trimmed graphics.
Topsy Turvy has about 600 accounts, including Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Henri Bendel.
Blue Ice/Blue Ice Jeans
What a difference 13 years make.
The powers behind Miami-based Blue Ice recently decided to reengineer the blouse-pants motif guiding the misses’ collection since its 1989 inception. In addition to making the line younger with more contemporary styling and softer with the infusion of knitwear, owner Robert Knyper is introducing a new jeans group this fall.
Suggestions from individuals at the firm’s New York buying office, Greggor Simmons, were instrumental in stimulating the changes.
“The direction of the market has become more casual,” said national sales manager Gregg Schneider. “And people are more conscious of what they wear when they travel.”
Most pieces are made with European novelty fabrics, including stretch gabardine and cashmere. Pieces include boot-cut studded leather pants and cashmere jeans-style jackets. Wholesale prices run from $29 to $185.
Blue Ice Jeans is a bottom-driven group of stretch fabric pieces, with a collection of tops, as well. Fall offerings include printed stretch corduroy jeans and motorcycle jackets in solids and prints, reminiscent of Andy Warhol artwork and Italian frescoes. Wholesale prices range from $29 to $129.
Volume for Blue Ice is estimated at $7 million wholesale for 2002; the volume for Blue Ice Jeans is projected at $2 million wholesale.